FUCK YEAH SOUTH ASIA is devoted to anything and everything about India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Kashmir and the Maldives. This includes (but is not limited to) natural beauty, music, film, history, literature, news and politics, food, discussion of the diaspora, language lessons and much more. We feel that the view of South Asia that is often presented is very flat and one-dimensional and we hope to do our small bit to change that.
“If a country can’t keep wages and costs down, its production will be moved to the next poor nation willing to sacrifice its citizens in the name of economic advancement. This is what organized labor calls the “race to the bottom,” and unions have campaigned futilely for decades to stop it. Only there is no bottom, really, in the global food chain because the world has a vast backlog of very poor nations desperate for jobs and anxious to please the multinational companies that buy the cheap goods and rebrand them as J.C. Penny or Benetton or best-buy stuff at Walmart.”
Mayday in Bangladesh: “The serenity of Jurain graveyard seems more than other days on Wednesday as 32 workers whose bodies remained unclaimed made their final journey,” is how the local Daily Star described it.
And now begins the sideshow. It’s much more engaging than the main event, it must be said. Yesterday, theNew York Times’ Jim Yardley, who has been excellent on the subject of labor abuses in Bangladesh, delivered a short and amazing profile of Sohel Rana, the 35-year-old owner of Rana Plaza, the massive factory outside Dhaka which collapsed last week, killing at least 400 workers.
Rana appears to be typical of a certain type of Bangladeshi garment magnate: crass, vulgar, nouveau-riche, and involved in equal measure in organized crime and high politics. He rode with his entourage on motorcycles, he’s accused of dealing in guns and drugs, he seized the land where he and his father built Rana Plaza from small landowners by force and through illegal paperwork, and he was protected by corrupt officials.
He was involved in the youth league of the governing Awami League. Which, to put it mildly, is not quite the same thing as being involved in the Young Republicans. The youth wings of the national parties in Bangladesh often function as nothing more than massive gangs: the two main parties are crony organizations at the top and depend in large part on intimidation and politics-at-the-end-of-a-brickbat at the bottom. Every few months or so they call “general strikes” to protest this or that policy or as a pure show of force—the country largely shuts down and any unlucky auto-rickshaw driver caught violating the strike risks a beating or murder.
Please, PLEASE donate to the victims of this week’s terrible tragedy in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Not only have these families lost loved ones, but many have also lost the source of their primary incomes through the garment factory. They need it more than you can imagine.
I can also assure you that NABIC is an incredible organization, dedicated to its work and dedicated to the people who need our help. NABIC is disbursing $10,000 immediately to the victims and their families; your donations will go directly to them.
Holi, a festival celebrated by the people of Hindu religion in spring season. It is also known as the festival of colors since they play with both dry and wet colors,play music and have fun on the day.
Here’s one such participant at today’s holi celebration in Bangladesh. Bangladesh’s diverse religious background gives us the chance to experience festivals of all religions.
The police in Dhaka and other places used live ammunition against protesters. Media reports suggest that most deaths were at the hands of police, but supporters of the ruling Awami League party have also engaged in vandalism and violence. The initial information received by Human Rights Watch suggests that the police were responding to attacks by Jamaat members and supporters that resulted in police and civilian deaths after the party called for protests against the verdict. The Jamaat party has denied that their members are responsible for any lethal violence, but media reports indicate that members of Jamaat’s Shibir group were responsible for several attacks, including against Hindu temples and houses.
“The leadership of Jamaat should immediately issue public statements to its followers to stop these violent, unacceptable attacks against law enforcement officers and those who support the verdicts of the war crimes trials,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “At the same time, the government should instruct the security forces to strictly observe its obligation to use maximum restraint and avoid lethal force unless necessary to protect their lives or those of others. If cool heads don’t prevail, Dhaka could dissolve into uncontrolled violence.”
Anyone capable of understanding Bangla, I implore you to watch this video. This amazing woman criticizes the Bangladeshi’ government’s inability to quell violence and provide safety for its citizens. This is a very important video, please check it out. Thanks.
DHAKA: Bangladesh was on the boil on Thursday as at least 23 people, including three policemen, were killed and scores injured in violence after a death sentence was handed down to a top leader of the fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami for “crimes against humanity” during the 1971 liberation war.
The violence followed the verdict of the special Bangladeshi tribunal that handed down death penalty to Delwar Hossain Sayedee, vice-president of the party, amid a nationwide shutdown called by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI).
“He (Delwar Hossain Sayedee) will be hanged by neck till he is dead,” pronounced chairman of the three-judge International Crimes Tribunal Justice ATM Fazle Kabir.
At least 23 people were killed as the activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir went on the rampage across the country after Sayedee’s verdict, the Daily Star reported.
The victims included the cops, activists of Jamaat, Shibir, Juba League and common people.
Of the deceased, six people, including three policemen, were killed in Gaibandha, four in Thakurgaon, three in Satkhira, two each in Rangpur, Noakhali and Sirajganj while one each in Dinajpur, Natore, Cox’s Bazar and Chapainawabganj.
In Gaibandha after the verdict several thousand supporters of the Islamic party attacked a police outpost in Sundarganj upazila.
They beat three policemen to death and set fire to the outpost. In response, police opened fire, leaving three people killed.
In Thakurgaon about 1,500 Jamaat-Shibir men took out a procession after the verdict and attacked shops and houses of Awami League men and the Hindu community.
Police and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) teams rushed there and fired blank shots and tear shells to disperse the attackers.
Encircling the police, the marauding Jamaat-Shibir men started to throw brick-bats and, at one stage, closed in to fight them. Police opened fire to escape, leaving one dead on the spot and about eight to 10 injured.